16. August 2013 · Comments Off on Motorola have dominated the two way radio marketplace for so long, can anybody compete · Categories: Telecommunications · Tags:

You’ll find quite a few. It is hard to put if they have one key rival. Personally, I think of it like Godzilla. Yes, he is the main monster, but he still needs to deal with King Ghidorah, Mothra, Mechagodzilla and Destroyah (amongst literally millions of others).

Anyway, in this case, the comms giant Motorola is rivalled by firms Icom, Kenwood, Cobra, Vertex and Hytera (after looking at the names you’ll perhaps see why I begun thinking of the Godzilla analogy).

Icom has quite an interesting business story. As detailed from their official site,

“In 1974 Dave Stockley, founder and company Chairman, opened a retail shop in Beltinge, near Herne Bay, with partner Paul Nicholson. Initially they distributed various brands of communication equipment including Icom. They later approached Icom Inc. and were granted sole distribution rights in the UK and Republic of Ireland. This paved the way for future success. As the company grew, the present Managing Director, Philip Hadler joined. Thanet Electronics then launched a handportable for radio amateurs. This proved so successful that marine and commercial variants soon found their way to these shores. During the Falklands conflict, the company received a large order from the UK Ministry of Defence. It was all hands on deck for the small team, who modified and inspected each radio to meet the strict MoD specifications. The quality of Icom’s radios, combined with the ability to tailor each product to the users needs, created a formula for success”.

Over on Kenwood’s official site, the history section is little less individual, but it really does go out of its way to emphasise this company’s involvement with the world of Forumla 1 racing. It also proudly showcases that Kenwood launched the world’s first transistor amplifier back in 1962.

Cobra’s official page carries a nicely detailed history section. Having been around in one form of another since 1948, Cobra first establish their feet with the American consumer nearly three decades ago. Their website states that,

“The early 80s were boom years, with the introduction of cordless telephones and radar detectors. The Cobra name soon came to stand for technical innovation. By 1987, the company was propelled exclusively into the consumer electronics market and in 1993 the corporate name was formally changed from Dynascan to Cobra Electronics Corporation with the NASDAQ stock trading symbol of COBR. Cobra identified the need for unique products and renewed its focus on product innovation and high-impact merchandising. This new strategy began paying impressive dividends in 1997, when the company registered double-digit revenue growth and a five-fold increase in earnings”.

Motorola have long been an innovator and industry principal within the field of communications, from phones to 2 way radios and pretty much anything else you can think of.

In reality, Motorola were there right at the beginning, producing one of the very first 2 way radio systems just in time for America’s entry into WW2. But that’s a story for another time.